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Hybrid nanodevices based on biomolecular motors

Susan Rivera2, Henry Hess*, 1, Stefan Diez3 John Clemmens1, Carolyn Matzke2, George Bachand2, Bruce Bunker2, and Viola Vogel1

1Bioengineering Department, University of Washington,
Seattle, WA 98195 USA

2Sandia National Laboratory
3Max-Planck-Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics
Dresden 01307 Germany

This is an abstract for a presentation given at the
11th Foresight Conference on Molecular Nanotechnology


Motor proteins are molecular motors, which efficiently convert chemical energy stored in ATP into mechanical work, demonstrating the feasibility and applications of nanoscale engines. We are designing hybrid, biomimetic nanodevices and materials based on the motor protein kinesin by merging biotechnology with micro- and nanofabrication. In previous years, we presented prototypes of molecular shuttles (a nanoscale transport system) [1-3], and a piconewton forcemeter [4], and introduced a novel surface imaging method based on self-propelled probes [5].

Now we can report on measurements of the specifications of our devices, for example the clearance of molecular shuttles, which require non-destructive distance measurements with nanometer accuracy. These measurements aid the design process, and establish the performance limits of hybrid devices. We will also present our recent progress in the design of motor protein-based nanodevices (e.g. described in [6]), which demonstrate the promise of molecular-scale motors for nanotechnology.


(1) Hess, H.; Clemmens, J.; Qin, D.; Howard, J.; Vogel, V. Nano Letters 2001, 1, 235.
(2) Hess, H.; Vogel, V. Reviews in Molecular Biotechnology 2001, 82, 67.
(3) Hess, H.; Clemmens, J.; Matzke, C. M.; Bachand, G. D.; Bunker, B. C.; Vogel, V. Appl. Phys. A 2002, 75, 309.
(4) Hess, H.; Howard, J.; Vogel, V. Nano Letters 2002, 2, 1113.
(5) Hess, H.; Clemmens, J.; Howard, J.; Vogel, V. Nano Letters 2002, 2, 113.
(6) Clemmens, J.; Hess, H.; Howard, J.; Vogel, V. Langmuir 2003, 19, 1738.

*Corresponding Address:
Henry Hess
Bioengineering Department
University of Washington
Box 351721
Seattle, WA 98195 USA
Phone: (206)616-4194 Fax: (206)685-4434


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